Arquivo para a ‘Information ethics’ Categoria

Administer the common good and peace

22 Sep

I thought about keeping silent and just writing PEACE, PEACE, PEACE today, but that would be silent.

Managing the common good is making peace prosper, disregarding it is allowing a large space for hatred, intolerance, violence and on a larger scale: war.

The 21st of September was established by the UN as an international day of Peace, the secretary general António Guterres cited in a video the effect of conflicts that expel a record number of people from their homes, and did not fail to also talk about these factors people, other factors such as: fatal fires, floods and high temperatures, combined with poverty, inequalities and injustices in a reality of distrust, division and prejudice.

In Italy, a group with numerous social initiatives launched a campaign “Italy united for peace”, the Community of Sant’Egidio stands out for a dispassionate and bilateral vision on the problems of wars and peace, it has the authority to talk about peace.

On the 10th to 12th of September in Berlin, Germany, they had already promoted a religious meeting that they called “The boldness of peace”, and there was no shortage of reflections on social inequalities, intolerance and injustices present in various areas across the planet.

We need to manage what Nature, the Planet and human development itself have given us to allow for a more fraternal, more just and more humane world.

For those who believe, all this is a divine gift, but it is necessary to manage it well as we will be charged in some way for the consequences of our actions, as the biblical parable says of the employees who were entrusted with talents through the owner of a vineyard.

The contract workers arrived, but as he needed more he went to the square and also hired those who were unemployed, and asked why they were there without work, they replied: “because no one hired us” (Mt 20,7) and then they were also hired.

At the end of the afternoon he paid the same salary, 1 silver coin to everyone, and some who were there from the beginning didn’t think it was very fair, but the boss remembers that the agreement was a silver coin so everyone was receiving the agreement.

So the meaning of the common good is that everyone has the right to a decent wage, but correct administration and honesty and zeal on the part of those who pay are necessary, it is fair for everyone to receive a decent wage.

But peace also requires a heart open to the just and dignified rights of the excluded other.




The Symbolism of evil

21 Sep

One of Paul Ricoeur’s characteristics is the search for explanations about who men are and the circumstances that affect them, among them there is an approach to evil as it affects all people, directly or not.

This search in philosophy comes from Plato, who defined the Supreme as: the final destiny of all things, which for Aristotle is the best good, linked to the logos, thus science, while in Christian philosophy it will be God and paradise.

Also important is the Neoplatonic thought of Augustine of Hippo, for whom evil is the absence of good, and thus is not its opposite, but its absence.

Medieval philosophy associates Good with paradise and evil with that which leads man to his destruction, not only in eternal life, but already in this life, see for example Boethius in his “Philosophical Consolations” and Thomas Aquinas for whom it is an “imperfection” of the Being, of virtues in the nature of the being, which deprives it of good.

In contemporary philosophy, the idealist and Enlightenment vision relativizes it and will almost inevitably fall into Manichaean views of evil and good, that is, arbitrary, much more dependent on conventions and social collusion.

Paul Ricoeur and Emmanuel Levinas stand out in their treatment of good, they revisited the question of the relationship between good and being in a similar and different way.

For Levinas, good precedes being, but it is not in consciousness or in discourse, thus it transcends being, thus defining it as the otherness of being, that which links it to infinity and its ontological sense, it is that of the ethics of Other.

Paul Ricoeur, when penetrating through hermeneutics more deeply into the question of evil, takes up the question of myth, especially the Adamic myth (Cain killed Abel) where myth “is the sought-after place of fusion between history and fiction” (Ricoeur, 1976, p. 295), but also addresses the “symbolic” issue of evil.

This text cited above is fundamental to understanding Ricoeur’s thought because he deals with it within what for him is today’s “crisis of philosophy”.

The symbolic issue of evil is the salvific death that does not end, but reinscribes the history of humanity in mythical guidelines and even the Enlightenment and idealism are not outside this, as they will create symbolic structures of “salvation” of man.


Ricouer, P. (1976) La philosophie aujourd´hui: entretien sur ce qu´on appelle la crisis de la philosophie. Lousanne: Grammont-Salvat, 1976.

Ricoeur, Paul. (1969) The Symbolism of Evil. Boston : Beacon Press.




A voice for peace

18 Sep

There were few writers and journalists who did not become involved in the mid-20th century in the ideological and nationalist appeals that Europe was making amid the weakening of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the growth of militaristic sentiments that led to war, Karl Kraus, a playwright and writer Austrian (they were born in 1874 in a village in Bohemia (today the Czech Republic), then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Unlike the journalism of his time that he criticized, those that judged seers like Raphael Schermann who was in evidence in Vienna and who criticized him, Karl Kraus’ criticism was directed at the political-ideological engagement of the journalists of his time, which he criticized since the vulgar language that they used even the moral decadence of their time that they mirrored.

Famous and known today for his book “Aforismos” (Arquipélago Editorial, 2010), which he defined as “Aphorism never coincides with the truth; it’s either a half truth or a truth and a half”, he had several works published recently in Portuguese, there were the releases in Portuguese of the works “The last days of humanity” by the Portuguese publisher Relógio d´água and more recently of texts from his newspaper “ Die Fackel” (The Torch or The Archote, as the Portuguese prefer) which were written during the First World War, which was one of the most prominent opponents.

There was an incomplete edition of The Last Days of Humanity, edited by Antígona in 2003, by its Portuguese translator Antônio Souza Ribeiro, recalls the young man who arrived in Vienna and had already written “Literature in Demolition” in 1897 and “A Crown for Zion” in 1898, as “In fact, what will be the distinctive mark of Kraus’s position in the Viennese literary field, defined by Edward Timms as a “combative isolation” is clearly outlined here” (pg. 96).

While the “media” of his time engage in ideological discourses of his time, his translator writes “… on the contrary, Kraus is laying, in a pioneering way, the foundations of what could today be called a critique of the media, in which constitutes one of the most strikingly topical dimensions of his work” (pg. 97).

Although lonely, Karl Kraus did not close himself off: “The reality is that, throughout his life, while facing irreducible hatred within the Austrian and German literary field, Kraus cultivated a very wide circle of relationships, which intersects with relevant intellectual and artistic circles and with several prominent names from the first decades of the century…” (pg. 97).

With the outbreak of war in August 1914, only one issue of the Magazine “Die Fakel” would appear in December 1914 with the 20-page text “In this great era”.

After publishing a new short text in February 1915, the magazine “…republished itself, in October 1915, with an extensive number of 168 pages, to establish itself as a space of violent rejection of the war policy in all its aspects” (p. 101).

In addition to his importance for the history of journalism, Karl Kraus brings great reflection to the present day.

RIBEIRO, Antônio Sousa. (2003) Os últimos dias da humanidade (The last days of humanity – reading manual), Portugal, Porto: Ed. Teatro Nacional de São João (Manual de Leitura Últimos Dias final.pdf (




Civilization, crisis and anger

15 Sep

The civilizing process, which involved wars and wars, was also marked by other major crises, coincidence or not, simple natural fact or divine intervention, the black plague from 1347 to 1353 which killed 50 million people, a high number for the population at the time. , anticipates a moment of crisis at the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Renaissance.

Today there is no correction that can be called “cynical” given the current connotation of the word, but Sloterdijk’s Critique of Cynical Reason applies well to skeptics: they do not believe in any morality, they do not believe in civility, and they bring anger and social anger leads to contempt.

The political event is the fall of Constantinople, on May 29, 1453, which gave rise to the Ottoman Empire, which later expanded throughout Europe, putting an end to the Byzantine Empire, of course together with a cultural movement that revived classical Greek teaching.

Also at the beginning of the First World War we had the Spanish flu, of course a correlation between epidemics, crises and wars is not so simple and easy to understand, however the fact that periods of civilizational crises led to wars and the birth of new empires is a fact , after all, after the fall of Constantinople, the Turkish-Ottoman Empire was born, which was until the first world war.

The existence of hate, of intolerance is practically inherent to wars, there is no shortage of justifications for a certain type of “justice”, there are several arguments for hate, for peace there is only one: love of life and appreciation for the civilizing process, perhaps it is time to reverse the logic of war: conquest.

We will only enter into a civilizing process worthy of humanity, if we abandon the primitive methods of correcting errors and injustices, almost always subject to narratives, a true process of human development worthy of the name cannot be carried out with the practice of wars and genocides with attempts to euphemisms that soften the cruelty.

The book of Ecclesiasticus says (Eccl 17:33): “Resentment and anger are detestable things, even the sinner seeks to dominate them”, and error must always give way to forgiveness and reconciliation, how many times? The biblical reading says: “seventy times seven” (Mt 18,21).

The developing process points to the outbreak of a war whose consequences are very worrying due to the power of weapons, technologies and global involvement.

There is always a possible opposite attitude, a virtuous circle is always possible, will it come?



The cold war is heating up

11 Sep

It seems like a paradox, but it is not, as the fact is that Europe and the entire northern hemisphere are heading towards autumn and then winter and in the middle of the cold the limits of ideological polarization seem to go beyond, new weapons, narratives of victories on battlefields, etc.

Not even the tragedy in Morocco (photo), despite the condolences, seems to awaken a greater feeling of solidarity among the people, sub-Saharan Africa itself is heating up with coups and new military dictatorships.

The expansion of the Brics economic bloc also strengthens this polarization, despite the G20 meeting, a more diverse bloc, the possible creation of a new currency and new geopolitics point to a conflict that has already resulted in coups and authoritarian regimes, it does not mean that this diversification of currencies and new economic and political forces should not exist, but they should favor the diplomatic field and the establishment of peace.

On the front of the most declared battle, Russia announces an imposing weapon, not by chance called Satan II, capable of transporting several missiles at the same time without bothering with demonic names, on the front of the war a general called Armageddon, Sergey Surovikin, was sent. , who worked in Syria and against demonstrations in Russia, is now at the front.

On the side of Ukraine, whose counteroffensive is slower than expected, new weapons with weakened uranium have been received from the USA, while it trains pilots of its allies’ new fighters, a more aggressive change of tactics should take place before winter.

There is a weakened peace front, the president of Turkey tried to reach a new agreement to release the grain leaving Ukraine through the Black Sea, but apparently without success and a large grain producer in Ukraine died with his family when a missile hit his house in Odessa, Olesky Vadatursky.

Propaganda of deeds in war are also growing on the Web, peace seems distant and the spirits and voices of balance and common sense seem suffocated, there is always hope and peace.



Religion, philosophy and humanism

01 Sep

Neither is he who simply proclaims a faith without knowing it, nor is he who follows a series of precepts without understanding the fundamentals. In Christianity what is Love, the philosopher Hannah Arendt, for example, studied as her doctorate “Love in Saint Augustine” while Edith Stein discovers from philosophy and Saint Teresa of Ávila a religious path and became a nun and martyr (died at Auschwitz).

There is much apology for superstitions and beliefs in the religious environment, but they were not unknown to Jesus, the question of the Sabbath is famous, in which Jesus asks if it is fair to save someone from an illness on Saturday (Matthew 12:10), he calls the Pharisees “whitewashed tombs” (1Jn,2,27) and finally ends by revealing to the apostles that he will have to suffer a lot from the elders, the high priests and teachers of the law (Matthew 16,21-22), to which Peter is scared and asks that this not happen, and Jesus scolds him and calls him saying that he did not have a divine inspiration.

So it is not the model of public life of many nominal religionists, false prophets and people with little depth of faith that we can understand what religion is, but there is an anthropological, philosophical and clear theological sense that underlies the teachings of love, of enduring the cross, of not building hatred, revenge or resentment in the fashion of those who do not believe.

Augustine overcame the Manichean dualism of good against evil, it is about Love that is far superior to everything and evil is just its absence, Boethius and later Thomas Aquinas instituted the question of the person and the Being, which is part of the polis, but inseparable from it.

The importance of Severino Boécio, venerated as a saint by the Catholic Church (his date is October 23rd) for the history of science and philosophy, the “quarrel of universals” and the importance of reason, Thomas Aquinas and current figures such as Edith Stein do not separate faith from human thought and contemporary humanism.

From this was born modernity and its dualisms (objective x subjective, body x mind, spiritual x material) part of the ontological dualism: being is and not being is not, however, there is now the principle of the third included coming from Stéphane Lupasco and Barsarab Nicolescu, it’s physical and real

It is time to review humanism and no face of human reality can remain without a necessary revision: what is the Being, what is the idea (the Greek eidos linked to Being) and what do the modern myths and cosmogonies mean before a deeper look to the sacred with dialogue and depth.


The eclipse of god

23 Aug

Martin Buber’s book with this name deals with how we can find in the philosophy and history of religion, from pre-Socratic philosophers to 20th century thinkers, an interpretation of Western beliefs, with emphasis on the relationship between religion and philosophy, with ethics and Jungian psychology, which was worth a reply from Jung and a rejoinder from Buber.

We live, as Buber says, in a time of God’s eclipse, when seeing the Moon pass in front of the Sun, it seems that it no longer exists, when in fact it is covered up, this is curious, because the controversy with Jung is caused by a question in In an interview about the existence of God, Jung replied: “I don’t need to believe, I know” (Jung, 1977, p. 428).

This caused a furor at the time and even today books like God: a Delusion (the title in English is The God delusion) we find a quote on page 51, in a book that shows Dawkins’ delusions more than the delusions of those who believe, mainly what in philosophy it refers to the Absolute, whose culmination of Western elaboration is Hegel’s abstract concept of the Absolute.

Hegel’s absolute, which is an articulation between the dualistic objective and subjective of idealism, is a singularity of a substantial power, proper to subjectivity and the concept as having a universal substance, which through abstraction becomes effective in self-consciousness and becomes if equal to essence, an essential I-myself species.

Jung’s later comment, expressed chiefly in a letter to a friend which has been published, he explains: “Whatever I perceive from without or from within is a representation or image…caused, as I rightly or wrongly suppose, by a corresponding “real” object. But I have to admit that my subjective image is only roughly identical to the object… our images are, as a rule, of something… the God-image is the expression of an underlying experience of something I cannot reach by intellectual means…” (Jung, 1959).

Jung’s response, without articulating it in an implicitly philosophical way, is a response to idealist subjectivism, it cannot be reached through reason, it is an object of faith, of belief and whoever has it has it inside and out while being at the same time subjective and objective.

The biblical passage that best illustrates this feeling is the one (Jn 15, 45-46): “The Kingdom of Heaven is also like a buyer looking for precious pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all his possessions and buys that pearl.”

Jung, C.G. (1977) The Face do Face entrevista in C.G. Jung Speaking: Interviews and Encounters, Princeton, Belligen paperbacks, p. 424-439.

Jung, C.G. (1959), Letter to Valentine Brooke in C.G. Jung Letters, Volume 2, 1951-1961, edited by Gerhard Adler, (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul), pp. 525-526, 1959





Between testimony and forgiveness: the cure

18 Aug

Paul Ricoeur’s analysis of whether forgiveness can heal ranges from memory to oblivion, but the author clarifies that “in the framework of the broader dialectic of the space of experience and the horizon of experience”, and recalls that Freud calls this “translaboration”, which means overcoming the belief that the past is closed and determined and the future is indeterminate and open.

Past facts are inerasable: we cannot undo what was done, nor make what happened not happen, but we must remember that the testimony of those who suffered the facts or who practiced them can and must be modified, depending on “our memories”.

It is not about forgiveness, or about building a new narrative, but Paul Ricoeur recalls Raymond Aron in his Introduction to the Philosophy of History, as what he calls the “retrospective illusion of fatality” and which he opposes to the historian’s obligation to transport himself to the moment of action and become contemporary with the authors.

The author sentences: “all memory is selective”, and reminds the author “if one could implement the oblivion of escape, the strategy of excuse, the task of bad faith, which makes passive-active oblivion a perverse undertaking”, then not just forget, but re-see.

The point in Ricoeur’s text where the testimony can be inserted is precisely this where he states, trying to combine forgiveness with work and mourning: “He marries one and the other. And, joining both, it brings what in itself is not work, but precisely a don”. Isn´t gift because in French (don, term used in the work of Marcel Mauss) or in Italian donno, whose translation is difficult but would be gratuity, I don’t like a gift because although it may have something divine, it is a detachment from the one who gives (forgiveness) the testimony.

Recalling the biblical Adamic myth, death, revenge and war seem natural, but it is the gift (don) and forgiveness that can turn civilization around and build peace and prosperity.

Ricoeur, P. (1967) Symbolism of Evil, Harper & Row Pub, New York: USA. (pdf)



Error and forgiveness

17 Aug

From a scientific point of view, finding errors in methods and analyzes means changing the route and not the research hypothesis, if a hypothesis is not confirmed this is a result and not an error, in fact for Popper this is how science walks, but another thinker Thomas Kuhn argues that there are ruptures or new research hypotheses, quantum physics is an example of this.

Already in philosophy, most philosophers defend that forgiveness is a moral virtue, thus it expresses the human capacity to overcome resentment and revenge, and with this restore interpersonal and social relationships, but there are philosophers who see forgiveness as weakness or illusion, since it denies the seriousness of the evil and the responsibility of the offender.

The contemporary philosopher who dealt with forgiveness was Paul Ricoeur, who developed it without departing from the religious sense (mainly Christian) and sees it as a paradox, as it goes against the unforgivable, that is, that which cannot be repaired or compensated by justice.

The theme is relevant because Ricoeur recalls that the theme became relevant “particularly characteristic of the post-Cold War period, in which so many peoples were submitted to the difficult test of integration of traumatic memories” in a text published in Esprit, no 210 (1995) , pp. 77-82 and which can be found on the Internet or part of the Ricoeur book (1967).

The author places “forgiveness in the energetic action of a work that begins in the region of memory and continues in the region of oblivion” (Ricoeur, 1995), and that a phenomenon “that can be observed on the scale of common consciousness, of memory shared” and clarifies that he wants to avoid the debatable notation of “collective memory”.

Although written well before our time, as much the totalitarian question is at stake as the question of colonialism, and this means a “shared” memory that can lead to fury.

The philosopher uses the vocabulary of the German philosopher R. Roselleck, who opposes “our global historical consciousness”, which he calls the “space of experience” and, on the other hand, the “horizon of waiting”, if we look at our experience almost we can overcome hatred and resentment between peoples and cultures, so I consider it correct not to use “collective memory”.

It is necessary to overcome historical errors, misconceptions and paths already trodden, which led us to chaos.

Ricoeur, P. (1967) Symbolism of Evil, Harper & Row Pub, New York: USA. (pdf).


Minimum ethics: when we make a mistake

16 Aug

The discourse is very common, even I sometimes say, that the biggest mistake is not saying no, but educating means explaining the no and helping people to correct their mistakes and listen to the counter-argument.

This implies maintaining ethics, even in the face of error, when it is common to appeal and leave for error, but what does it mean to make a mistake?

Aristotle says in his “Nicomachean Ethics” that it is possible, from a moral point of view, to make mistakes in many ways, but there is only one way to get it right: “We make mistakes when we are afraid of everything and face nothing; we err when we surrender ourselves without measure to every type of pleasure; we make mistakes when we do not return what is rightfully the other’s. On the other hand, we succeed when we avoid excesses”.

Excess can even concern what we consider virtuous, which is what concerns our dispositions: study, leisure, work in short, everything that is important, but requires balance and temperance.

Habits and addictions depend on habits, and habits depend on continuous actions, but how to correct addictions and mistakes? the practice of going straight to the point can be a mistake, every mistake must be contextualized to avoid hasty and sometimes mistaken judgment

To correct is above all to give space for the error to be understood and the reprimand already requires a social action, in many cases legal, thus it requires the proven facts, witness and the correct way of correcting, the fair measure is always the one that allows the error to be corrected. adjusted.

Fraternal correction is indicated in (MT 18, 15) it says to take your brother in private, if he listens to you he will have a brother, if he does not listen to you he takes a witness if he still does not listen to you he is a public sinner.

What has changed, there is no more correction, but only punishment and it is not always right.